Brand new to LARPing and Empire, Need help starting up my Navarr character

Hello everyone, hope your all doing well.
Im brand new to the realm of LARPing and Empire i havent done anything like this before.
I was introduced to this by a friend (who has never done this before) and i thought this sounds amazing and could be a fun adventure to part take in.
(p.s Im on the special needs side, so im slow learner and can get a bit easly overwhelmed so please bear with me, thank you for understanding.)

This is more aimed at the people of Navarr as this is a Navarr based charcter im wanting to make.
Im wanting to make a character thats in the Navarr nation as im getting the feel of that nation is more to my intinal ideal of how i see my character i wish create.
I have started a bit of creating my character, i have been designing them on paper before i create on the Empire character creation page on the main site.
Following the wiki page (the best i could follow and understand) and looking at the creation page options this is what i have came up with so far…
My character:
Details so far:
-Name:Ciara (last name to be sorted and need help with)
-Gender:Female
-Nation: Navarr -Territory:Miaren
-Linage: Changeling (key features, the Pointy ears and the Antlers)
-Personal Resource: Business? (unsure)
-Skills: (Combat Skills)
*Ambidexterity
*Fortitude
*Endurance
(leaving me with 4/8 skills left)
-Weapons:
*Swords (Dual/single handed)
*Short Swords (Dual/single handed)
*Daggers (Dual/single handed)
*Shield(Buckler)
I know that the Navarr favor more in the use of spears but i wanted to start with a combat style i would be more comfortable to start with for my first character but would willing learn in the future.
-Armour:
*Light Lether
-Type of character i want to her to be:
A Rogue, Hunter and Ranger.

Of course my character is in working progress if there things in the details that dont fit the nation on the Navarr im happy to edit/fix.
Im a little lost when it comes to creating a second name for my character and resources.
I have been reading the wiki pages about them but unfornatley im just getting more confused than anything.

regarding the Groups, with the banner, Coven and Sect,
which type do you recommend and what group?
(i may be joining a group made by friend providing we can all decide on a nation to make the group but i thought it would be good to have a back up in case worst case senario of attempting to make the group.)

The Character questions and background i will need to think on for answers to the questions,
as im stuck on inspiration for answers at the moment.

Reguarding outfits, armour and accessories for my character i have put together a word doc
with pictures as a visual represntaion of armour and outfit sets and accessorise i would likely get in the future.
Would these be accpectable for the Navarr nation at all?

I can assume i have missed/skiped bits, if so i do apologise this is all alot to take in.

Any help, opinions, advice, tips and general knowlege on what i have done for my charcter so far would greatly appreciated.

Thank you for you time reading and helping me.

Regards
Ciara

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Ciara!

First of all, welcome, to the hobby, the game and these forums :smiley:

Empire is a deep pool to jump into for your first LARP, but (to overextend the metaphor) there are no currents and several lifeguards.

Near everyone gets a bit overwhelmed when they start, this game is huge…

While I’m sure you’ll get some Navarri players dropping by soon, I’ll just look over your ideas from a more general point of view…

Character info: Looks solid. You may wish to use your group name as a surname.

Skills: Light skirmisher dual wielding swords? Fair play, go for it. By all means, start with what you’re comfortable with! A quick note is that shields (as opposed to the smaller bucklers) aren’t used that commonly in Navarr, cost 2 points for the skill to use them, and are an expensive prop. Did you mean buckler?
“Rogue, Assassin, Thief, Hunter and Ranger.” Note that while “sneaky woods-runner” is very Navarr, and certainly fits the D&D styles of Rogue/Hunter/Ranger, calling yourself an assassin is a bad idea, and thievery in this game is really difficult (there aren’t any skills to help you out, and the Militia is enthusiastic and competant). But as a general feel, it’s fine.

You have plenty of skill points left. This is fine, you don’t need to spend them all at the start, or indeed at all. If you want to be more of a fighter, you may want to look at the Heroic skills. If you want to be making magic items (including starting with a few for yourself) you may want Artisan. Physick is lots of fun to play around with, if you want many new friends desperate to be fixed up on the battlefield :slight_smile: Happy to discuss this and make suggestions.

Resource: Business is fine, especially for the more prosperous and settled parts of Navarr, like Miaren. Business is also a good one to start with, as it’s dead simple: You get a pile of extra cash, every event. Don’t spend it all on drinks :stuck_out_tongue:

You can change your personal resource in play at any time. You can also change most of your character at or after your first event, by talking to PD about it. They’re very understanding with “help new player have picked wrong stuff didn’t understand!”

Banner is for fighters, Coven is for mages, Sect is for the more religeon inclined. I advise leaving all of those alone for your first event, although you may wish to ask about Banners.

Empire is a game based around groups. You CAN play solo, I would NOT suggest it to start with. Going with a friend or two is good, making some friends in advance is also good.

I advise finding some people to hang around with before you go. Even if not a group you want to join, just someone established who you can use as a starting point. “We travelled together on the way here, and are thus sharing their fire…” Having some sort of base “on-stage” is great, as that gives you somewhere to go, somewhere to talk to folk, and somewhere to store stuff as needed.

Groups can be found on these forums, or indeed on the Navarr facebook (link below)

Looking at kit plans… wow, you’re a lot more organised than I was :slight_smile:
Forest greens and browns, looking good. Those combinations of leather armour should be enough to count as a suit of Light Armour (armour coverage is another topic, ask if you need help). Loving the dual hip weapons loops… accessories look good although I would really suggest going for the more modest antlers to start with: Navarr camp in the trees, and foliage does not mix with antlers well. Or guylines. Or tentflaps.

Weapons: Slight concern here. Are you planning on buying these in advance? Online? You may be able to get a good deal, but they may not be up to the required standard for the game… It is generally advised to buy weaponry on site (if not from a recognised dealer), as then if items fail the safety check you can take them straight back… There are a LOT of weapons dealers at Anvil, and I’m pretty sure you could find whatever you need there. This also gives you the option of hefting around various bits in the shop to see how they feel before committing to purchase (lots of fun).

Have a look through these forums, many a newbie question has been asked before. Feel free to reply here with as many questions as you like.

You already have the minimum amount of knowledge from the wiki to enter play (character nation, province, name, skills), so that’s fine.

Oh, I’ll also reccomend a podcast by some friends, who jumped also into Empire: Navarr as their first LARP. You may want to start at the first episode or two, but there’s a lot there about wandering into Navarr and finding your feet.

https://www.facebook.com/LarpNoobsPodcast

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Hello Geoffrey_Willoughby its a pleasure to meet you.

First of all thank you so much for the kind welcome and reply.

Regarding the shield i do mean the buckler, i didnt intend to carry around the big massive shield.
and wasnt sure what type of shield was called but i will take note of that thank you.

Skills: yeah i didnt want to spend all at once to especially for being new to this though the Physick skill sounds interesting and i would be interested in talking more about that if thats ok?

Groups: i have looked on video and they have said its best to go with friends who are also new to this. The situation with my friends at the moment is we wanted to make a group with my friends plan of us all being mixed nations banding together but then found out that we cant do that so it
the group i on the planning/drawing abord for now.
Thank you for the group link i will look it up.

Following the character type thank you for advice and i have take note of that and have changed it following your advice.

Weapons: The weapons i have pictures of are weapons from the site, LARP Warriors
here is a word doc with the links:

i checked the sizes of each of them making sure they the fit guidelines
for the weapons lengths for the ambidexterity requirements
and the buckler also.
Worst case im happy to buy purchase weapons at the event when i am able to attend.

Outfit/kit guides: yeah i did think the antlers in the picture are very huge, there were just a visual
guide for the linage for time being. i read up the light armour for example i know the braces only cover small portion of proctection but some extra advice would greatly appreciated.

Again thank you for your help and Advice
I look forward to hearing back from you.

regards
Ciara

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Armour coverage: To count as a suit of X armour, it needs to cover the torso and 1 other location (torso, arms, legs, head). A frequent version of this is large vest (torso), bracers (half arms) and greaves (half legs).
Other distributions include torso + helmet, or torso and full arms.
(that set of overlapping leather upper arm guards and shoulders, plus the bracers, would likely be a full location coverage of arms).

Higher grades of armour (Medium, Heavy) block special calls when actually struck, as well as granting extra hits. Which is why the heavy armoured mob tend to pile it on everywhere…

…but for light armour you’ll just be concerned with “am I wearing enough to get the extra hits?”

Note that ruling on this is up to the referees on the field.

Additionally, a nice option with leather armour is that you can paint it rather easily, with whatever designs you like. A twisting design of brambles and leaves would look rather nice for Navarr. Advice on this available on request.

Thank you for the advice Geoffrey, thats very handy to know and will take note that also.

as i have said already its greatly appreciated.

Regards
Ciara

Hi Ciara and welcome to Navarr.

You’ve got a great start to your character here, and certainly nothing I can see that goes against the nation brief. So I’ll jump straight to trying to answer your questions and give advice where you say you’re stuck.

Name.
Second names in Navarr are simply the name of the steading you live in or the striding you travel as part of. The database doesn’t need your character to have a second name, there are definitely some Navarr with only the first name in the system, as their group provides the second one and then they only need to change one entry if they switch groups. You don’t need a second name to create the character, it can be added later.

Personal resource.
A business is perfectly fine and a good first choice when starting out - saves you having to trade resources from the outset and provides the money needed to change to something else later. It can represent all manner of things but given your rogue/hunter/ranger concept, I think you could flesh it out in-character as being something like acting as a paid guide through Miaren, fur trapping/hunting, or leading an anti-bandit patrol either around the city of Seren or along Miaren’s trods. There’s no requirement to detail the nature of your business but in my opinion, it helps fit the character into the world.

Groups.
The banner is the sort of default when forming a group. The groups already in the system should only be joined/chosen after speaking to people in that group and getting their okay, mostly for politeness but some listed groups might have been wiped out/retired, not yet entered play or be up to things that could get a new player into unexpected trouble.

An advantage to being in Navarr is that it’s easy to have travelled widely and have friends from all over, so if your friends end up with a group in another nation then there’s no reason you can’t spend some or most of your time with them. I’d recommend you still come explore the Navarr camp in that situation though, if only to have a look at what’s going on (and drag your friends along to show them why they should join the nation too :grin:).

Character questions/background.
I found it helped me to come up with a reason that my character was attending an Anvil summit for the first time and also have an oath which tied into that reason and/or something(s) I wanted to do in-game. That way you have an aim or activity to fall back on if you feel stumped on what to do next.

These sections can be amended later by emailing PD; nothing is set in stone. Looking into the nation’s recent history may help with inspiration. The last few game years have been busy in high-profile ways for the Navarr and you might find some extra inspiration in those events if you haven’t already looked.

Outfits/armour/accessories.
Everything you’ve shown would work well for Navarr. The long leather robe will be very liable to mud in wet weather - and there seems to be a lot of mud at least one event per year. It’s common to see skirts and dresses stopping around mid-calf to reduce the effects of mud. To judge by the folds and creases, that same robe is probably too thin to count as light armour, though all the rest of the pieces still would do in combination. Without the shoulder armour you would still have enough coverage to get the extra hits from the rest. Leather armour gets expensive easily and you might find it cheaper to get a helm than buy both bracers and greaves - covering torso and head is enough to qualify for the extra hits, even if helms are rare in Navarr so we can better show off our tattoos. Medium and heavy armours want to be in locations you expect to be hit (because of the extra rules) but with light armour it doesn’t matter.

Physik skill.
Lots of people do enjoy playing physiks on and off the battlefield (theres an in-character hospital tent beside the Sentinel Gate to treat returning fighters). A healer always has a lot of friends and helping out at the hospital can be a reliable option if you feel overwhelmed by the range of choices on what to do next at any point. As Geoffrey already mentioned, PD will happily change your skills for you when you’re new if you aren’t enjoying them much. But you can also drop one skill after each weekend you attend so even a year or more in, if you get bored of being a physik you can let your character’s training lapse and do something else. So don’t be too worried about spending experience, which you can do during the event in the GOD tent - it’s perfectly possible to play out getting some training and then go buy the skill. One of my friends did just that at the Anvil hospital.

Weapons (and Ambidexterity ).
You didn’t specifically ask about weapons but I would like to echo Geoffrey’s advice to buy swords, daggers etc. at an event. Weapons must be checked for safety every event they’re brought to by PD’s official weapons checkers. The risk of buying online is that if any weapon fails the check, it’s more complicated to get a refund (if you’re still within the return window) and you’re still short one weapon for the weekend.

Walking around as a one-person armoury will look very striking but it’s a big outlay to start that way when you’ve not tried larp before. Established players are sometimes able to loan a weapon or two so you could ask around and delay some purchases until you know that you enjoy the game.

In my opinion it’s also worth trying out fighting with two weapons before heading to the battlefield. Ambidexterity is what gets called a “hard skill” in that you the player needs to be good at it for your character to be able to fight well in that style. You risk nothing by starting with the skill bought (as you can retrain skills) but you might find a sword and buckler the better combination for you, at least to start with. Equally dual-wielding might come easily to you, just find out before you’re in a battle!

Other advice.
*“I’m new to Anvil.” You may know this already but it is a common code phrase to identify yourself as a new player. My experience is that most anyone will take the time to answer any question put to them if they know you’re new to the game. I got an impromptu tour around half the field from just asking for directions when I started, very useful it was too.

*Socks. And more socks. Not a character thing but cold, wet feet can spoil a weekend easily so spares to change into or add over others on a chilly night will serve you well.

*Monstering. Again not directly related to your character but still important. The easiest way to change your appearance when playing a monster is with a mantle, scarf or hood in the colour of that monster faction, which is either red, blue, purple or bright green (as opposed to our forest-type greens), so planning for a little non-character costume in your budget will be appreciated by other players.
In the past, the enemy forces have been orcs and the provided balaclava masks conveniently covered up Navarr tattoos. For at least next event, the Empire’s battlefield foes will be humans, at which point Navarri tattoos will ideally be covered up or removed. You will also have the advantage of being able to remove ear tips and antlers to signify that you are not playing your character at that point. (This bit does assume that you’ll be taking part in battles. If you don’t plan to then you could get away with not bringing any weapons onto the Anvil field at all.)

*Have non-fighting stuff to do. Battles (if you join in those) will take up roughly 2-3 hours on each of Saturday and Sunday but most of your time will be spent at Anvil without threat of combat. While there are smaller skirmish battles that go on, there’s no guarantee of getting on one so having ideas of things to do the rest of the weekend will hopefully make for more fun. There’s a whole thread of ideas on this forum but also worth talking to your friends to see if they have suggestions and to arrange a wander around together even if you don’t have a single group with you all in.

I hope all/most/some of this is useful to you. The “new player” tag here on the forums is a big help in finding answers, I find but don’t hesitate to ask if you have a question not covered or want extra detail.

And welcome again to the very best nation! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hey welcome aboard o/ :slight_smile: Let me throw some comments in.

I understand generally that fighting with two swords or sword and dagger/shortsword is more difficult than a bunch of other kinds of fighting, but you don’t need to spend any points to fight with Buckler and a Sword. It’s also useful to pick up a buckler for when you go and monster, so +1 for you getting one. Experiment, see if people will let you practise a bit with their weapons, like a short stab safe spear, see what kinds of weapons and style suit you.

Also for you first weapons, buying them at the event is considered a pro-move as then if it fails weapon check you can get it replaced immediately. I wouldn’t say this is common with weapons bought from traders at the event but it can happen with any weapon you buy from online or in person traders.

Can also confirm that you can change all your skills, resources and whatever after game one, PD don’t want you to be locked into something you discover doesn’t work for you.

Physicking wise here’s a thread with people talking about some aspects of it, searching the forum for “physick” also gives a bunch of threads that might be useful

When it comes to you “Job” so to speak, one useful thing to think about is what you’ll be doing when you’re not in a battle/skirmish or mission through the Sentinal Gate, which will be the majority of your time at the event. Battles are a few hours long and any kind of mission where you go through the sentinel gate will be heavily subscribed, so you probably won’t go on more than one or two.

I mean you don’t have to, going to Anvil to see the sights and have fun is totally a thing :slight_smile: but if you wanted to swap your business for a Mine/Forest/Fleet you could then try out the trading game. Brokers are one of the Navarr archetypes but also doing a bit of trade on the side is a very Navarr thing to do imho :slight_smile: .

Oh also while I think about it this is an excellent podcast by some new Navarr players about their first few games. Might have some useful stuff for you.

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Hello Unslain and Mark its a pleasure to meet you both and meet a fellow Navarr.

thank you to both for the help you have given me.

uponin reading your replies…
Skills:
I will think about the physick skill and look into it when do i attend a event, i dont want to overwhelm my self with to much and use up all my skills at once also will give a me chance to explore the skill before taking it on.

Combat:
taking on what you have said about the dual weilding skill/combat, I know the Navarr favour in the use of spears so is now wonder if the spear and Buckler combo easy to use and recommended instead of the dual weilding weapons.

When it comes jobs/ things to out of skirmishes and battles, i have a group of friends that are making there own characters in different nations at the moment and we are going to meet up together and form our own travelling bard group when we are in the anvil and perform music togehter for the people of the Empire.

I look forward to hearing your replies and hearing you opinoins

Thank you

Regards
Ciara

Oh that’s a good 'un! :smiley:

Most of the nations have a musical tradition of some sort, I think by now they all have written original songs, as well as the large pile of appropriate folk songs (to various degrees of “folk”) that they all started with.

You could easily end up with a HUGE repertoire, and musicians are welcome everywhere. It also makes an excellent reason to hang out together.

I may even come and ask to join in (I play a Dawnish Troubadour)…

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Folks seem to have covered most of your issues pretty well but my lil help.

If transporting it around isnt an issue id definitely recommend spear over two swords. Its considerably easier to use and much, much newbie friendlier when you can poke someone from 6ft further back.

Using it in two hands is probably more effective than carrying a buckler but if you are wearing light armour a buckler might save you from being arrow fodder and you can always switch it out as needed.

A Mail vest or hauberk under other armour looks good, gives you heavy armour and can be re-used for pretty much any other character might be something to look at down the line too but thats obviously moving away from your concept a bit, worth seeing if you can borrow some to monster in though!

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In reply to Geoffrey:

Thats good to hear, im not that musically talented but obviously practice make prefect,
I the only intrusment i have right now is a Kalimba (basically a thumb piano if your unaware of what it is)
Only thing is im not im sure if its fits the theme of Empire but also of the Navarr, upon reading the music side of the Navarr nation, they mention they use drums, fiddles and pipes so im unsure if the kalimba fits in that, Saying that im open to trying and learning new instruments that would fit better to the Navarr and the Empire.

Of course im sure my friends would welcoming for to you joining and mabey we could learn something from each other.

In reply Noserenda:
Hello Noserenda its a pleasure to meet you,

A few people have mentioned the about the use of the spear and so i did some looking up about the spear and techniques i have decided to switch to the spear/spear & Buckler combat and adding the Sword & Sheild combat as back up.

I will look into the chainmail / hauberk route later down the line as i dont want to overwhelm myself.

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I’m just going to echo the spear crowd. I use a 7 foot spear two handed and I love it. In battles you’ll find that there’s brief flurries of close range violence before the battle lines break apart while each side looks for an opening and hurls insults at each other. With a longer weapon you can reach across the gap in the lines and harass the enemy.

I’m no musical expert but I wouldn’t worry about a kalimba not being a traditional Navari instrument, you may have learned it on your wanderings. There’s a Marcher that plays the didgeridoo. Just come up with a reason why you play it in case someone asks. Also I personally love the sound of a kalimba.

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Hello Earl_de_Loup its pleasure to meet you.

Thank you for input and advice it very much appreciated.

thank you,
regards
Ciara

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It’s perhaps worth noting that using a spear of any kind requires the Weapon Master skill (for 2xp), and you’ve mentioned not wanting to spend all of your starting xp. Whereas all characters can use a one-handed weapon.

Spears are also upwards of ÂŁ90 to buy, with a thrust-safe tip (needed for one-handed use) adding further to that. Plus as Noserenda mentions, carrying a spear on public transport or even in a small car can be a challenge.

There are plenty of Navarri who don’t have spears and you won’t be criticised if you don’t either. I’m not trying to dissuade you from spear combat at all, just to make it clear that there is no pressure of expectation. With Empire being an aspirational game, do as much to follow the wiki/brief as you are comfortable with and then build from there as time goes on.

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i am aware about the 2xp cost and have taken careful consideration with what skills i want to use but thank you for the concern i will be having sword with my character also.

i have looked around online for different price comparison, but thank you for heads up.

Transporting around the weapon wont be a a issue as i plan to make a weapon bag to store and transport the weapons around.

ok and thank you i will take what you have said into consinderation

Ciara

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Re weapons bags, something similar in design to an oar or paddle bag might be a good start.

Our local LARP spent years carrying around staffs and spears in a long oar bag :slight_smile:

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It terms of music, think of the nation pages as your aspiration. You don’t have to enter the field with much under your belt, the Navaar have a strong musical tradition and you’ll hear things you can learn to join in with down the line. Anything you manage to pick up from the wiki is a bonus and will hopefully mean you have something you know that you can join with at the start. :slight_smile:

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